Located in the centre of the Island, Newport, with its narrow streets and town squares, is the capital of the Island. It has a town Quay, now used mainly by pleasure craft, its history was of cargo ships and barges bringing supplies to the Island. Two of the original warehouses have been renovated, one as a squash club and the other as the Quay Arts Centre with a restaurant, craft workshops and art exhibitions. In the summer you can sit outside and watch the swans and ducks on the quay.
Travelling up Quay street with its grand Merchants houses, you will come to the Town Hall on your left with its clock tower and on your right is the entrance to Watchbell Lane. The night watchman used to ring out the hour from here and the bell can still be seen high up on a wall.
Close by you will find St Thomas's Square, once a meat and corn market, and dominated by an impressive church. Built around the 1850's it stands on the site of an older church and retains some of the original features. There is a beautiful tomb of Charles I'st daughter Princess Elizabeth who died at Carisbrooke Castle. The Square is now bordered by small shops and eating places, one of which is God's Providence, standing on the site of an old house where the spread of the plague stopped in the 1580's. Close to the square is Litten Park, once the town's archery butts but during the plague was taken over as a much needed graveyard. It is now a pleasant park with mature trees a rose garden with seats on which to enjoy the sunshine.
The other main square in Newport is St James's Square, now the heart of the the town's retail area but originally the site of the cattle market until 1927. The Square is dominated by a monument to Queen Victoria (photo) and opposite is a bust of Lord Louis Mountbatten, Governor of the Island before his death in Ireland.
Newport has two theatres. The Apollo, which was converted from a Methodist chapel, is situated near the town centre and is where amateur productions are performed. The Medina Theatre is on the outskirts of the town and attracts many mainland touring companies and is also used as a cinema.